Spiritual concepts

Redeemer and redemption

Redeemer-3Redemption is the act of restoring something to its former state.  Implied within this definition is that the state was one that the people wishing for redemption considered to be positive and a wanted state, perhaps a return to peace, or innocence, morality or safety.

In today’s day and age it may mean a restoration of all the fauna and flora lost from our beautiful planet, or a return to a more caring society, or the restoration of cause based healing as opposed to symptom based medicine, or a return to one less materialistic and more spiritually minded, a golden age when we were maybe less rushed and stressed.  An age of contentment and connection to higher powers.

The important distinction is thus a restoration of some past perceived idyllic state, as opposed to a new vision of some as yet never known state.

Redeemer

A Redeemer: is then the one given the responsibility for restoring this desired state.  The redeemer brings back something valued that was lost or taken away.

In Job 19:25, for example, Job makes the statement, "I know that my Redeemer liveth."

By the very nature of the task given, any Redeemer gives up his or her life figuratively speaking, to help achieve this monumental task.  Again figuratively speaking, they sacrifice themselves voluntarily, give up any form of a normal existence in order to achieve this restoration on behalf of others.

It is essential to realise that this is not a uniquely Christian concept.  Anyone can be a Redeemer if the past state can be clearly defined and is indeed as idyllic as one would want, a sort of Paradise Lost, but then via the Redeemer a Paradise regained.

Redeemer-2

Combination of roles

Redeemers are both destroyers and restorers/creators.  They have a very destructive role, in that everything which would prevent a return to this golden age must be systematically demolished.  But they must at the same time present a vision of the former glories they are attempting to revive, describing what has been lost and must be restored.

It is the most difficult role of all to perform, as heros often simply create new orders and no destructive role is required.  But a Redeemer must be simultaneously Black and White, Devil and Angel, deeply destructive and angelically creative.

The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious – C G Jung

The woman whose fate it is to be a disturbing element is not solely destructive, the worker of change is herself changed and the glare of the fire she ignites both illuminates and enlightens all the victims, what seems a senseless upheaval becomes a process of purification

So that all that is vain
Might dwindle and wane (Faust Part II)

If a woman of this type remains unconscious of the meaning of her function, if she does not know that she is 

Part of that power which would
Ever work evil but engender good (Faust Part I)

she will herself perish by the sword she brings.  But consciousness can transform her into a deliverer and a redeemer

 

The Redeemer in Christianity

Redeemer-1Although Christians often use the word Redeemer to mean Jesus, the Gospels do not use the title "Redeemer" anywhere, and although Jesus did indeed sacrifice his life for his beliefs, there is no indication anywhere in the Gospels that this sacrifice was intended to restore anything to anyone.  He lost his life because his teachings clashed with Jewish Orthodoxy.

It was only later that Paul used the word "redemption" in several of his letters. But his use of the word is confusing.  The Jews considered themselves ‘enslaved’ and Paul could be using the word in the sense of Jesus literally giving his life in an attempt to free the Jews from the yoke of a succession of masters.

Eventually it appears the word became totally corrupted by Christian theologians to mean that Jesus sacrificed himself literally in order to obtain favour with a God angry with all the sinners he had on his hands.  My life in exchange for all these sinful people.  A corruption of meaning both bizarre and tragic.

Observations

For iPad/iPhone users: tap letter twice to get list of items.